I have to shake it up a little in my blog, the World of San Nakji, by not posting a photo, but instead giving you the chance to share in the glory that is me. Today, faithful readers, is such a day.
Spring is a funny time here in Aotearoa, the last country in the world. Much like all the other seasons it tends to rain a bit and then have a bit of sunshine too. You wouldn't really notice it were any different from Winter actually except that it has suddenly become a lot warmer and a lot lighter in the morning which always makes SN happy as I am such an early riser. Right now it is grey and rainy outside, but in here it is the same as always. Air conditioning will do that I guess.
Weather like this makes me think about things. Earth shattering profound things. I had a lot of interesting thoughts recently which I wanted to share, but I forgot them. I meant to write them down in my journal, but I forgot to... Do you find that you come up with the greatest ideas in a place where you can't possibly write them down? When sleeping, when dealing with some business in the smallest room, when running to catch the bus? How annoying. I am sure at least two of the ideas I had last week would have solved world hunger.
So, third paragraph and nothing has happened yet. Maybe I should tell you a story? It goes like this.
Back in the days of the fall of the Berlin Wall I was in Stuttgart in West Germany. Friends of mine told me I should get to Berlin so I could watch the wall being pulled down. Be part of history so to speak. Well, SN is not known for missing out on history so I packed my bags and jumped on the train for West Berlin. I walked down the aisle of the train looking for a spare seat, but could find nothing. I walked through perhaps four carriages before I came into a carriage that looked a little bit different from the rest. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly was wrong with the carriage. There was something in the air. It was perhaps a little more grim than the other carriages. The people in the carriage looked a bit grim too. The only thing that really mattered to me at the time however was that there were plenty of seats in this car. I threw my bag onto the luggage rack and sat down across from a grim young lady who despite being grim managed to smile at me.
The train was an overnighter so I made myself as comfortable as I could and tried to get a bit of sleep. Some time later I was awoken as the carriage was lurching backwards and forwards and there was all kinds of banging and crashing going on. I looked at the grim young lady and she looked at me. Her face gave away nothing. I sat there looking out of the window into the dark, but the dark was no help. I didn't know what was going on, but I knew that as long as I sat on this train I was going to get to Berlin eventually. The banging and crashing soon stopped and we were on our way again. About 20 minutes later, I still hadn't managed to get back to sleep again, we stopped. 'Damn!' I thought. 'At this rate I will miss the Wall completely and will only get to Berlin in time for the first McDonalds opening. (This normally follows the collapse of an authoritarian government) Suddenly, the door to the carriage opened and in walked to armed soldier type people. They were armed with distinctly Russian type guns. The type you see in old James Bond films. I wondered what West German guards would be doing with such guns...
They were checking everybody's passport and the grim young lady showed them her grim looking Czechoslovakian passport. They then turned to me.
'Here you go lovely West German guards. Please go on your way protecting our freedom to munch on burgers and wear Levis!' I said politely.
'Funny Language that I have never heard' they replied and pointed at my passport angrily.
'Yes, I know you don't meet many people from Aotearoa so this passport may seem strange to you. I do promise you that my people are good friends with the German people and that I do not require a visa to visit your lovely country' I said even more politely and without even a touch of angst in my voice.
The grim young lady leaned towards me and spoke.
'We are not in Germany anymore. We are now in Czechoslovakia.' I haven't written this with an accent, but just imagine that she spoke with one.
'Gulp!' I thought. (Do you think gulp or does it just happen? I do wonder...). 'I am in some serious Iron Curtain trouble here!'
And I was...
It turned out that the reason the grim carriage had been empty is that it was one of two that was being separated from the Berlin train. They were removed in Nuremburg and put instead onto the back of a train heading for Prague. We were now in Czechoslovakia in a town called Cheb.
The soldiers marched me out of the train. The grim young lady gave me a pathetic smile seeming to say 'Well, good luck with the firing squad'.
Firing squad my arse. I would make those Communists pay! As a Socialist, I cannot abide by my brothers who have taken things just that one step too far. They wouldn't shoot me alive!
The soldiers marched me, not to a prison, but to the train station waiting room. Well, when I say not a prison, it may as well have been. All they had were Cracked magazines from 1978 and a copy of Stalin's holiday snaps album. I sat there, not trembling in fear, but defiant in Socialist anger. When they came back I would be ready for them. I would not let them drag me away without inflicting maximum casualties. I had seen Die Hard, I knew what it took. Think of me as a way better looking and much better haired Bruce Willis. And much harder and tougher. I knew the guards were intimidated by me and if it weren't for their guns I am sure they would have cowered for mercy.
I sat in the waiting room for hours. One thing about Communists is that they know how to wait. One thing about me is that I have no idea. Still, I knew it was part of their psychological torture game and I was prepared to play it. I occupied myself by looking out of the window of the train station and counting the number of barrels of leaking chemical waste lying in the courtyard.
Finally after what seemed like days, but was possible two hours, the soldiers came back. In fluent German they announced my verdict. In halting German I listened.
'You will get on the next train to Germany, ok Mr SN sir your highness sir?' I am pretty sure that's what he said. He was obviously worried with how I might react.
'No worries Mr Guard, you are just doing your job. I will grab that train with gusto'
And that's just what I did. The train came. I got on it. It left Czechoslovakia. I am sorry to tell the residents of that country that I have never been back. Despite all the fan mail I feel that it's just too soon...
San Nakji for President!